New Poll: Majority of Ontarians Support Government Spending on Initiatives to
Distance Province from Oil Usage

In wake of U.S. Gulf oil spill, 30 groups call on McGuinty to act

TORONTO, June 14 /CNW/ - More than 60% of Ontario residents surveyed support government laws and spending to move away from oil to clean energy, even if it means new taxes or fees on oil and gas pollution, according to a new poll released today by Environmental Defence.

"The tragic oil spill in the Gulf has brought the dangers of continued dependence on oil into sharp focus," said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. "The lesson here is that the McGuinty government can act smartly and aggressively to reduce oil use, and the public would be behind him."

The poll found that:

    
    -  67% of Ontarians surveyed support the Government of Ontario
       introducing laws and policies to accelerate a transition from oil to
       other energy sources, even if it means changing how people use
       transportation.
    -  62% of Ontarians surveyed support spending by the Government of
       Ontario to transition from oil to electric vehicles, with funding from
       new fees and taxes on oil and gas pollution.
    -  Two in five Ontarians (41%) say that the Gulf oil spill has made them
       mindful of the gasoline they use.
    

"Countries like Denmark and Israel are mounting massive scale ups in electric vehicles, while other countries are making the needed investments in public transit," said Smith. "The real world practical solutions already exist. It is time for us to both prevent future spills and to tackle global warming by getting off oil."

Thirty environment, urban planning and health groups sent a letter to Premier McGuinty today urging him to adopt new laws and policies to transition Ontario away from oil. Ontario consumes nearly 200 million barrels of oil each year used primarily for transportation, sending up to $20 billion out of province to buy it.

On Monday, June 21, Environmental Defence is hosting a former oil worker and long time community advocate who has been directly involved in the Gulf oil spill, Jerome Ringo, at an event in Toronto called "Bridging the Gulf: From Oil Spills to Clean Energy." The event will take place at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. West, 7-9pm.

From June 7 to June 8, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 800 randomly selected Ontarian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 3.5%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Ontario. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca) Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research solutions. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to Canada's contribution to climate change.

SOURCE Environmental Defence

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview, contact: Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)


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